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International artists donate to help Minneapolis homeless

Posted by: Mary Abbe under Art, Photography, Culture, Galleries, Minnesota artists, Openings + closings Updated: May 3, 2012 - 2:35 PM



 Anonymous 5 in. by 7 in. painting donated to Art 4 Shelter

Art from as far as Iran arrived in Minnesota this spring in response to painter Megan Rye's call for donations to her Art 4 Shelter benefit.

Now in its second year, the one-night event raises money to support Simpson Housing Services, an overnight shelter for the homeless sponsored by the Simpson United Methodist Church, 2740 1st Av. S. Last year 450 artists contributed and 900 people turned up at Circa Gallery to buy the art and support the cause. The little gallery was packed and all the art was "sucked off the walls in 20 minutes," Rye said.

Needing a bigger venue this year, she sought help from Burnet Gallery in the Le Meridien Chambers Hotel, 901 Hennepin Av. It joined a long list of sponsors including D'amico Catering, several banks and art businesses.

The event is May 9 and there's no admission charge. Preview viewing will last from 5 to 7 p.m., with the sale from 7 to 9 p.m.

All the art is postcard sized, anonymous and inexpensive to encourage participation. Each piece is just 5 in. by 7 in., priced at $30, and signed on the back. The art savvy may recognize work by such stars as photographer Alec Soth, but the point here is not to seek a trophy but to buy from the heart.

"The quality of the work is extraordinary," Rye said. "Out of the 1200 pieces, I'd say 800 are spectacular, but that's pretty amazing."

Besides the 300 professional artist-friends that Rye "leaned on," there are contributions from 20 art departments including St. Paul's College of Visual Arts, the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, the Perpich arts high school and several Twin Cities private schools.


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